A new stationless electric bicycle shared went live in Dublin yesterday — Zipp Mobility is the third stationless system and the second all-electric service in the city. It said the launch was part of a “pilot scheme”.
For now, Zipp only serves the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area, although it serves areas of the county not currently served by stationless bicycle share competitors Bleeper and Moby.
All three are stationless rental systems are operated using apps on mobile phones, and public bicycle parking stands, rather than their own docking stations as with DublinBikes.
Rental of Zipp bikes costs €3.10 per half-hour, which is slightly cheaper than Dublin’s other all-electric bicycle offering, Moby, at €3.50 per half hour.
But both are significantly more expressive than public transport in Dublin — the TFI 90 Minute Fare costs €2.30 and is expected to be reduced once the Government’s public transport fare cuts kick in sometime next month.
Zipp said today that it would be adding different subscription options “in the coming weeks” and the number of bicycles it has operating would be scaled up “over time”.
It also said it will be looking at expansion to other Irish cities and electric scooters rentals once the law changes to allow their use on Irish roads is implemented. It currently operates scooter systems in eight cities in UK and Poland.
Zipp Mobility said it has raised €2.1 million in funding since 2019 from a number of “private and angel investors including, former Irish rugby international Brian O’Driscoll and Barry Maloney of Balderton Capital, Enterprise Ireland, and through a crowdfunding campaign on the Spark crowdfunding platform.”
Competition in the “micro-mobility” market is high across Europe and beyond. In the EU, competitors to those already launched in Ireland include Tier, Bird, Dott, Lime, Voi, Bolt, Zeus, and Pony with some offering both scooters and bicycles, and well bicycle-only stationless offerings such as Donkey Republic.
This is as well as the established fixed bicycle share systems in cities such as DublinBikes and Vélib’ in Paris, and railway-run systems such as OV-Fiets in the Netherlands and Call-a-Bike in Germany.
In Dublin, there is an artificial boundary for operators between the four different council areas, most obvious between the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Dublin City Council areas. This boundary issue is solved by having licences to operate in more than just one council area. But at this point, it is unclear when — or even if — Dublin City Council is to tender again anytime soon for stationless operators’ licences.
Bicycle share usage has also been disrupted by pandemic-related working from home.
Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr Lettie McCarthy, said: “I welcome the issuing of a further temporary Bike Share Licence to Zipp Mobility. These low-cost bike share schemes can encourage more people to cycle over short trips, especially those who do not own a bike.”
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